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An article by Wayne Madsen
An Third-Rate Intelligence Agency for a Failing Super-Power: The CIA’s Global Demise

Based on its recent string of failures, most notably those that have occurred under America’s top general-turned-spymaster David Petraeus, the CIA has become a third-tier intelligence agency that is trying to prop around the world up a failing, financially bankrupt, and over-extended super-power the United States.

23 December 2011

David Petraeus

The CIA, started in 1947 with veterans of the war-time Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and military personnel, who were soon supplemented by economists and international relations graduates of America’s top Ivy League universities, is now attempting to promote itself as a “made-for-television” futuristic high-tech spy and covert warfare agency, operating intelligence-gathering and armed drones from over 60 bases around the world. All that is missing from the CIA’s over-inflated view of itself are the X-Men and Jason Bourne.

The record of the CIA speaks otherwise. The agency has become a bloated and ineffectual spy agency that is heavy on inflating intelligence reports while being responsible for major intelligence failures.

Recent major failures of the CIA in its drone operations in the Middle East and Africa have some congressional sources wondering what is afoot with the CIA. Under Petraeus’s watch the CIA has experienced its worst foul ups since those that occurred when it failed to foresee the Iranian embassy hostage situation and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Petraeus’s first major failure, Lebanon, involved Hezbollah’s exposure of the CIA’s agent network in the country. The CIA station chief, Daniel Patrick McFeely, has been outed as the CIA station chief at the U.S. embassy in the Awkar neighborhood of Beirut. Not only was Hezbollah able to out McFeely, who operates as "official cover" as part of the embassy staff, but they identified his predecessor, Louis Kahi.

By conducting surveillance of meetings at Pizza Huts and Starbucks in Lebanon between CIA case officers and agents, Hezbollah — and their Iranian allies — were able to construct the CIA’s network that included over 1000 top Lebanese politicians, academics, medical doctors, journalists, military personnel, and celebrities. Essentially, the CIA’s network in Lebanon has been largely rolled up. According to Al Manar television, the code names of the agents, names like Nick, Jim, Youssef, Liza and Jonah, were also exposed.

The U.S. corporate media has refrained from publishing the names of the CIA station chiefs or the cover names of their Lebanese agents. In more and more cases, the U.S. media has run from its duty to report all the facts about intelligence-related matters, succumbing to either appeals or threats from spy agencies that they should not write about intelligence-related matters because of some nebulous and non-provable “threat” to national security.

Almost simultaneous to the Lebanon roll up, Iran announced it discovered a network composed of at least 42 CIA agents operating within its territory, operatives that worked in nuclear and other scientific centers, the military, biotechnology, and various universities. Iran’s chief prosecutor has already indicted fifteen of the 42 for espionage on behalf of the CIA.

On November 26, a U.S. air strike killed 24 Pakistani military personnel on the Pakistani border with Afghanistan. The incident, which frayed already poor relations between the United States and Pakistan, resulted in the U.S. being expelled from the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan, one from which CIA drones were launched, with few successes and many failures, against "terror" targets in Pakistan’s volatile mountainous frontier region bordering Afghanistan.

The debacle that resulted in the loss of the Shamsi drone base was followed by the biggest intelligence failure to date, the downing by accident or hostile action, including through possible electronic warfare “spoofing,” of an RQ-170 Sentinel stealth-enabled drone over Iran. President Barack Obama was under pressure to launch a commando raid on Iran to retrieve the state-of-the art technology drone or bomb it and its security detail once it was discovered to be in Iranian hands. Obama chose to ask the Iranian to return the drone to the United States, something Tehran has refused to do, without, at the very least, an official apology.

Obama had on his hands a “Jimmy Carter moment” and his Republican opponents eagerly jumped on him for not sending in a commando team to retrieve the drone or order air strikes to destroy it. Obama left himself open to charges that he is a weak and ineffectual president because he allowed the RQ-170 to fall into the hands of not only the Iranians, but, as the rhetoric from his political enemies has alleged, the Russians and Chinese, as well. The right-wing claims that Russia or China, or both, will attempt to re-engineer the CIA’s expensive toy, what is known as the mysterious "Beast of Kandahar," in order to leap frog the United States in stealth drone technology by years.

And just when Obama did not need any more bad news from his problematic CIA director, news came that an Air Force-operated MQ-9 Reaper drone on counter-terrorist and counter-piracy duty in the Indian Ocean crashed and burst into flames on landing at the international airport on Mahe island in the Seychelles. Most Air Force Reapers are remotely-piloted from Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The CIA’s drone wars, which are supplemented by the U.S. Air Force’s own Global Hawk, Predator, and Reaper operations, are increasingly being seen around the world as America’s use of technology to commit the “joy stick and button” mass murder of people accused of being terrorists. In fact, the CIA and the Air Force have no idea who they are killing when its drones launch their deadly payloads. The building anger against the United States will continue to place the CIA’s professional and increasingly amateurish personnel in danger in conflict zones like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Libya and in rear echelon support countries like Djibouti, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Saudi Arabia.

The CIA’s political influence operations around the world are also being exposed every day. Run in tandem with international financier George Soros and his network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and not-for-profit foundations, the CIA’s attempts to foment rebellions through “themed revolutions” and election engineering are becoming better understood, ironically through the media that Soros and the CIA champion the most – social networking. From the streets of Egypt and Syria, where the CIA’s and Soros’s involvement in artificially-created uprisings is no longer a secret, to Russia, Venezuela, Belarus, and China, where political intervention by the CIA and its team of Soros “do-gooders” is now being met with strong opposition, the cat is out of the bag.

While the CIA has for decades enjoyed the luxury of hiding behind NGOs, missionaries, aid workers, and journalists, the Internet has allowed CIA influence networks to be exposed and its agents, shills, and dupes to be identified. Time magazine has named as its “Person on the Year” for 2011 the generic “protester.” However, as the CIA’s worldwide operations become further exposed, the “protester” lauded by Time will no longer be a paid provocateur working for the CIA or Soros – taking orders and money from Human Rights Watch and Global Witness — but one who is genuinely protesting the interference and aggression of the United States. And that protester will be found not only in Cairo, Moscow, Caracas, and Beirut but in New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Wayne Madsen
Strategic Culture Foundation, 21 December, 2011.

Wayne Madsen (USA) is an investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. Has some twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club. Lives in Washington, D.C.